Our Stories

Smart and talented students who are passionate about everything they pursue. Dedicated and compelling faculty who guide and mentor bright students. Exceptional and accomplished alumni who make their mark in their chosen field. While all members of the Truman family have their own unique stories, they have one thing in common — the desire to turn intellectual pursuits into action to make the world better for everyone.

John along with friends at the Muny

Combining a Practical Side with a Creative Side

Spending some summer nights at a well-known theater in St. Louis, John O’Brien became fascinated with how a theatre production comes together. That experience, combined with the wide opportunities students have to personalize their education at Truman, opened the door to a whole new world of career options he had not even considered.

Stephen - Internship with Tesla

Career Prep with Tesla

Stephen’s love for anything with an engine has him planning for a career in the automotive or aerospace industry, and he has already completed multiple internships, including two with Boeing. And he found that persistence pays off when it led to an internship with Tesla.


Working for CNN

Renee Baharaeen is currently a Production Assistant for CNN’s Special Events unit. Prior to joining CNN, she served as a Staff Assistant and Coordinator for the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House.

Schmidt Family

In Business to Help Businesses

Dan Schmidt (’02), who has carved out a successful niche guiding business owners into the next phase of their ventures.


Don’t Get a Job – Create One

Since graduating with a degree in journalism, Doug has gone on to have success in a variety of fields. He runs one company with his brother, and he started several others

Creating a Nontraditional Wine Business

Michael Delcau (’13) is hard at work trying to achieve his dream of opening the northernmost winery in the world in Iceland.


A Different Kind of Mogul

While working with at-risk youths in California, Shaunelle Curry (’95, ’97) realized how something as simple as the music they listened to could influence their lives in a negative way. So she looked for a way to make a positive change in her community.


Capitalizing on Every Minute

Active in a variety of roles as a student, JJ Dorrell (’17) is the epitome of a liberal arts student.

Tibbs family

Better Products for a Better Life

For parents, nothing is more important than their children, and Kevin Tibbs (’95) was so passionate about the health of his daughter he risked everything to start a business that would give her a better life.


Young Entrepreneur Pitches Innovative Ideas

As a three-time finalist for a Truman competition called Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, Will Fries  has looked not one but seven investors in the eye and pitched his idea in hopes of a good return.

Jerry Mayhew

Working with Future Leaders

Jerry Mayhew, professor of exercise science, views Truman’s premier teaching and research labs as on par with any other university.


Making Music Come to Life

Paul Niehaus IV has been busy putting his own stamp on the music industry as a performer, producer, audio engineer and record label owner. Tapping into his extraordinary musical talents and the practical skills gained through a liberal arts education, Paul used his understanding of the complex nature of the music world to build a successful career.

Interns at Boeing

Future Leaders in Thought & Experience Internship

A unique internship opportunity gives students an opportunity to gain real-world work experience with the world’s leading aerospace company.

Lucy Lee

A Love for Teaching

Early on in life, Lucy Lee, professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, aspired to be an eternal student so she could share her love of learning with others.


Young Entrepreneur Takes Old-School Approach

Most 20-something entrepreneurs today are using technology as a means to build their empires, but Austin Hayden (’15) is taking a decidedly retro approach when it comes to selling his recreational water pads.


Do What You Love

Jamie David gives back more than she takes. One of her mottos is “do what you love,” and that guiding philosophy motivates her to be active on campus. Among her commitments, she is an executive member of the Student Activities Board and Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.


Passion Project Becomes Small Business

There are many ways an idea can become a reality, and for one of Kirksville’s more unique business ventures, inspiration came from an unusual source – fourth graders.


Launching an Accounting Career

Leaving her home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to study in the United States, Thilini took advantage of opportunities in and outside the classroom to enhance her skills and gain practical experience.


Broad Interests Result in a Variety of Businesses

Paul Garnett (’73) is a true businessman, and as the more than 20 companies in his family portfolio show, he will consider any venture that might create a profitable enterprise.


A Modern-day Renaissance Man

For Cisco Juarez, most of his personal growth was found outside of the classroom. He credits joining Alpha Kappa Lambda as the foundation for his success.


The Rewards of Imparting Knowledge

Vayujeet Gokhale describes his path to teaching as a “series of incidents and accidents,” and acknowledges interactions with students are the most rewarding part of the job.